Rubio wins reelection
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Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioJeb Bush calls for Broward County official to be removed from post Florida Dem rep: Scott is 'spinning conspiracy theories' Gillum retracts concession in Florida governor's race MORE (R-Fla.) is projected to win reelection to his critical Senate seat as Republicans seek to preserve their slim majority in the upper chamber. 

On Tuesday, Rubio defeated Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy in a race that both parties eyed with the Senate majority hanging in the balance. 

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Rubio, who initially declined to run for reelection to pursue a presidential bid, fell short in the GOP primaries after a devastating loss in his home state. 

After dropping out of the race, he repeatedly insisted he’d become a private citizen. But with mounting pressure from top Senate Republicans in a year that was favorable to Democrats, Rubio eventually reversed his decision and jumped back into the race in late June. 

Since his late entry, Rubio was the clear favorite and kept up a consistent lead in the polls, though they started to tighten in the final weeks. Democrats hammered Rubio for being absent in the Senate and claimed that he'd abandon Florida to run again for president. 

Murphy, the pick of establishment Democrats over controversial Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE, lagged behind Rubio in statewide name recognition. Republicans dubbed him "Privileged Patrick" and knocked him for his father funneling millions into Democratic super PACs to help elect him. His campaign was also marred by a report that he exaggerated parts of his resume, a story he has pushed back on. 

Tuesday’s victory was critical for Rubio: Two losses in the same year would have jeopardized future political aspirations. 

Rubio is expected to launch another presidential bid in 2020, but he has vowed in recent interviews and debates to serve a full six-year Senate term.